First Set of Plans!

This “house” will be built on a 20 foot X 8 foot utility trailer. It Has a u-shaped galley with plenty of counter space – with cabinets above – storage under counter, room for counter-top appliances. Full sized bed, water and grey water underneath, access from outside or inside. Full standard shower, separate toilet, use kitchen sink for bathroom sink. Propane heater, computer desk, storage under. V-Shaped front for aerodynamics and storage – propane and batteries for DC power. Use a regular DC/AC boat electrical panel – ability to add generator at a later date. Room under kitchen counter for separate refrigerator, and front open small freezer – or build in counter top freezer with air cooled boat system of cold plates?? Cheaper and less problem to buy small freezer at Wal-Mart!

Will build the floor approx 8” to 12” above deck of trailer to allow for electrical conduit and plumbing. Floor doors for critical access. Vaulted ceiling over main living room – lower flat ceiling above baths and kitchen with Tote storage above. Shower sump pump to move grey water into storage tank. Typical home depot 36” square shower stall with door or curtain, probably curtain. Will also put cloth shower curtain to close off bed area during day…or night for privacy. Will more than likely build a single bunk above main bed and use area for storage or company! If there is room for my Futon in the main room, this would only be storage…

Exterior will either be T-111 or smooth white fiberglass panels, including lo-rise gable roof. Flat roof above porch will be ventilated to feed and drain window A/C unit which will be built in above the door! Interior walls will more than likely be textured 4 X 8 fiberglass panels, easy to clean and light and airy…finished wood trim strips applied at the seams and in all the corners…just like on a boat!

I can buy a brand new dual wheel utility trailer with brakes 8 X 20 for about $1,800.00 and figure material cost to build the house will be around $6,000.00 to $8,000.00. Used trailers all over the place, for as little as $500.00. If I shop and plan real well, using remnant materials from Lowe’s and Home Depot for cabinets etc…I can probably knock another $1,500 bucks off the price. Also look for trashed travel trailers at salvage yard and boat salvage yards and get various components like windows / cabinets etc.

Small windows on either side of kitchen and larger windows on either side of living room and small windows on both side of back wall and in back door.

There is a whole group of people who are doing this sort of thing…some videos on my blog…here: Make sure you watch the video of one being built! Difference – my plans do NOT call for a sleeping loft – just a storage loft above kitchen and bath. Plus my roof won’t have nearly as high of a pitch! Mine will be closer to a flat roof, hip style on front towards towing to aid in aerodynamics. Enough pitch to enclose A/C unit above porch and hold some storage totes above the hallway into the kitchen and soft storage to the sides. Weight needs to be kept low above the wheels and fairly even side to side! Been doing a bunch of reading and homework!

In my studying the past few days - I have discovered there is quite a movement of people who are starting to live this lifestyle. Many or old hippies or greenies who are just a little bit better than the homeless, at least they are industrious and have created a space to live...some remind me of the old commune days of the 60's, maybe that is where they are all ending up...anyway, that is not my purpose. I want to live comfortably and energy efficient from a cost standpoint and environmentally friendly in that I don't want to pollute, but I am not going to take a dump in a compost pile...I want a flush toilet and will process my waste when necessary through a sewer like everyone else. I require a decent refrigerator and a freezer. Propane to cook with and plenty of fresh water to bath in simplistic is fine, but you do have to be comfortable and clean!

I am seriously shopping for a utility trailer and hope to have one before I leave for Alaska in May, then next fall when I return to Florida, I will build the house based on finalized plans and what materials I can gather between now and then. I have built several boats and understand electrical systems, water systems and waste systems and most everything in this trailer will utilize many marine parts, so I will be traveling around the boat yards and RV places for salvage items to use in my new home, this to minimize costs of course.

Stay Tuned as things progress I will be updating every few days!

Capt Jim

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